Picnic at Holt Country Park & Family BBQ

Today was a lovely end to the Bank Holiday weekend.  Nils was on his way home from Boston and would arrive in Kings Lynn mid-afternoon, T picking him up and returning to Gunthorpe to meet up with them and havea a BBQ.  So the kids and I planned to head to the beach with our lunch and have a picnic first.
Unfortunately, Soren did not like the multi-colored, really cute plaid shorts which I picked out for him, so he threw a major tantrum.  Out of character, yet not the first time, so he stayed upstairs, screaming and crying and whatever he was doing for 34 minutes!  That was a looonnnnngggg time.  Once he finally came to grips and put on a plain pair of shorts, and his red polo shirt UNDER his Spiderman t-shirt despite me saying it may look silly, we set off dressed for the beach.
I’d say that color looks silly but he’s so cute so he’s okay!

As the sun was in full force shining and it was about 22 degrees, I knew we had to get sunscreen first.  So as we were driving, I thought instead of the beach, which I’m certain was going to be packed due to the weather and Bank Holiday, perhaps we could go someplace more shady on the way to Gunthorpe.  So my idea was a picnic at Holt Country Park and they agreed!  As we were not dressed for a hike in the woods, we opted to only have a picnic and then some time in the playground area.  There they both climbed the rock wall, up and down the slide, scaled the beams and ropes and had lots of pretend play at the mushrooms.  Soren pretended he was the cook and made us wood chip cake.  It was funny as for about 10 minutes it was only us in the playground and then suddenly there were over 15 kids with us.

Afterwards, we headed to Gunthorpe.  J’ scoot bike was a big hit with our kids – who both liked and tried out, but it is not easy on gravel.  Maebh especially liked it and is really interested in one.  I know she’d really like a mini micro scooter like some of her friends have at home.  When I asked her which one she wanted, naturally she replied with BOTH! As they are a small fortune, we’ll hold off and see if we can pick up one second hand.

Pake & Beppe’s backyard is always fun for the kids to run around and play. There is a big pond, several streams, which with boots they can go inside.  J just got a new shrimp net, which they both want, so they were playing with that too.  Next time we head to the beach, we’re picking up their own nets so they can catch stuff in the rock pools.
Maebh sitting alone eating chips while everyone else was away.

As the large pond is loaded with frog eggs, Beppe took some and put into a large jar so the kids could see it the tadpoles growing.  She even made a small jar for us to be able to take home but Soren knocked it over by accident but landed all over Beppe’s beige shorts.  We forgot to take it home, but I think it’s best to leave it there, so they can go back inside the pond, as we do not have any water here for them.  Or we could bring them to the pond at Soren’s Forest Schools area.  I’ll have to ask her what will happen next – because if each of those polywogs things turn into a frog, they’d never get out of the jar top.  Perhaps her plan is to pour back into the pond.  I found this helpful site online which shows the life stages of them.

Beppe also created a tee-pee which we all thought was a lot of fun. It’s amazing how cool it was inside.  Would be fun to have one in our yard too.

Here we are playing shoot the raisin into my mouth.

R fired up the charcoal BBQ (which was so easy and didn’t take as long as I thought it would) and we had a yummy meal outside in the courtyard.  The area is great as the kids cannot get out and they played with sticks and had a lot of fun in the corner area.

I really need to get some stuff for outside in our back yard like a BBQ (will try charcoal) along with some tables/chairs and a fire pit!  I’m really looking forward to summer, hopefully I can fill up the backyard with items from car boot sales and the auction!

Easter Egg Trail at Holt Country Park

Today I took Maebh and Soren to an Easter Egg Trail at Holt Country Park.   I ran into two mums I knew from Sheringham, so we tagged along with them.  Thankfully the path was pretty stroller friendly as Maebh didn’t want to walk the entire way so I pushed her.

It was well organized and fun for all. But I do admit some of the questions were a little tricky.  You follow along the trails and come to signs posted with facts about baby animals and then a question.  You then write down your answer and then just a bit away from the question is the answer, a photo and the letter you put on your paper.  The goal is to spell out a phrase and then when you come to Jack Frost, you tell him what you spelled out by following the clues.  The answer was: “Bring Me Sunshine Jack“.  Soren got shy and wouldn’t say it but it was still fun.

There was a table with some crafts then some baby animals from Melsop Farm to touch. Soren naturally hopped up and held the soft baby bunny.  Maebh touched it, but didn’t want it on her lap.  Oh and how could I forget, the Easter Bunny was there with some chocolate treats for all the who participated.  More chocolate to add to the Easter collection!

Finally the trail ends at the kids play area where the kids played on the structures before heading home for lunch.

Overdue "Family Day" Outside of the House

Nils has been working so hard on his conferences – up super early and in bed super late (I’ve been doing a lot of stuff with him too and running the kiddos) that we decided to step away from the computers today and head out for a much-deserved family day.  It is the first day of February Half Term (aka February school vacation week in Boston).  In hindsight, we did a LOT of things today but it was great and I took a LOT of photos which I’ll post here now!

We started by heading up to Sheringham to go to the library.  When we parked a car, there was Mama’s Continental GT Convertible Bentley!  Couldn’t resist snapping a few photos with this lovely car!

Soren knows what’s up with this car!
Me and my car (though mine is black)!


After Sheringham, we headed along the coast to Salthouse, home of Cookies Crab Shop & a favorite, Dun Cow.  We always drive by this spot where we see loads of ducks and a horse but we never stop.  Today we remembered to bring all the old bread and decided to feed the ducks (along with a million Seagulls who invaded their space and ate a lot of the bread).  The really sweet, gigantic black & white horse who lives near the ducks was there today too. Next time we’ll remember him and bring him a couple apples and carrots.  Poor guy watched as we fed the birds. Yes, we have a pond in our backyard with two resident ducks Zoe & Rupert, and a few addition new ducks, but they run when we try and feed them last time.  These other ducks are really used to people.


After that we continued to drive up along the coast and figure out what to do next.  We were thinking it would be fun to stop at a local pub, have a drink and perhaps some chips (french fries).  Given it was 1 pm,  nearly 50 degrees (F) and sunny today, Nils thought all our favorite coastal locations would be so busy, we decided to try the place we sometimes drive by Three Horsehoes in Warham.  I just read this review of the place from A Swift One, which clearly was not written by a mum with two kids in tow, but the enjoyed it so I’ll share. I popped in to ensure it was okay to come in with kids and was greeted by an older lady who was nice enough but said they could come in but they could not be in the pub area and only the dining area.  Fine by us, we headed in and entered the back room.  I noticed a guy sitting at the table eating his pie of some sort.  I immediately asked him if he’d mind if I came in with my children and in an American accent replied, “no, this is the American room today!”.  We talked a bit and he noticed my accident and asked if I was from Massachusetts.  LOL  I guess I do have a Boston accent.  He was from Brockton [oh yeah who said he was a “Boston College High School Boy, could have replied, we liked Don Bosco boys better, but I resisted! :)”] and lived in London for the past 14 years.  Nice guy – was up on a weekend trip from the city.   They didn’t exactly have a good pub food menu (a bunch of soups and about 10 different types of pies.  Beef Pies, Rabbits, Minced Meat Pies, Lamb Pies and on and on.  We opted for a couple beers, drinks for the kids and two soups.  The soups were GREAT!  The best cream of mushroom soup I have ever had but also the hottest soup I have ever had.  I’m sure if I were to spill it on my lap, I’d have second degree burns.  It took well over 20 minutes to cool down.  The guests apart from the nice fella from Brockton   were all old people who did NOT speak to each other.  Seriously the place had about 12 guests and there was ZERO conversation, no talking just silence.  It was like a friggin library.  In fact, Nils said to me something to the effect – “it’s okay. they are kids and they can make a little noise.  If these people want to be in silence they should go to the library”! Every single noise my kids made, made me cringe. Thankfully they are well-behaved and pretty good in restaurants & pubs so I knew we were okay, just a little on edge.  In this aspect, England is NOTHING like Ireland.  The Irish would never mind, ever!  A few games here & there and Soren finishing up the soup like a Caveman, we were off.  We’d love to go back again and perhaps enjoy a drink on the picnic tables.  Such a shame they don’t have french fries.

After we left The Three Horseshoes Warham, we noticed a person parachuting in the sky in the direction of Fakenham, so we attempted to find the Great Snoring airfield.  After some lefts, rights and a couple turn arounds, we found it only to not see a single person near it.  So we headed along in search of our next stop.


As the traffic was pretty bad at Little Snoring (road works – or possible accident due to screaming police car), we headed across Kettelstone and up towards Holt that way.  We thought it would be fun to check out Holt Country Park. We have never been and hear great things.  It was nice, they have about 5 different color coded walking trails and a small kids play area, which our kids loved.  They are offering a special morning session on Monday, Feb 18th from 10-12 pm to come make a bee, bat or bird box with a Ranger.  It was like 3 or 5 pounds.  I know Nils will be working and Tjibbe & Jeltje will be just getting back, but it might be fun to bring the kids. I know Soren would love it, Maebh would probably help a little.  The place reminded me of Ipswich River Sanctuary where Soren did the “Things with Wings” camp last summer.



As we were leaving there was an area map and Nils noticed that Baconsthorpe Castle, was about 4 miles away, we’d head over to check it out.  I was told about it from my first “mommy friend” here in the UK. It was great! So many great laughs and of course a TON of photos.  We’ll be going back with a picnic once it is warm. There was a few others there for a few minutes, but we stayed the longest.   It is a fortified manor house, now a local historic ruin built in about 1460!








































Baconsthorpe is 1.2 miles away from Edgefield so after we left, it was only fitting that we’d head over to The Pigs, our family friendly pub with indoor & outdoor kids play areas.  We have only eaten there once and it was okay – we’d try other things next time.  But we know they stop serving lunch at 3 and dinner does not start until 6 pm, but as the pub is technically open, we can enter. So like we have done many times in the past, we go in around 4 pm and are the only ones there, apart from the staff getting ready.  We go to the family section, dim the lights a bit and Nils & I talk and enjoy a beer, while the kids play inside.  We are two feet from them so we know they are safe and supervised.  As it was not that cold at this time, we knew Soren would love to ride the zip line. Sure enough, back and forth, back and forth, he was in heaven!














One minor incident, Spider Man Soren fell through the net!

We stopped off at Budgens to pick up something to whip up for dinner and headed home. The kids ate, Soren was too tired to read his own school book so I read two of our new library books – “Who’s In The Loo?” and “Don’t Put Your Pants (underwear) On Your Head”.

Great day with the family!